by: William Usher
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Futuristic first-person shooters are now a dime a dozen since Halo came out, but how many of them are free-to-play and class-based like an RPG? Well, Genesis A.D. is.
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Just Another Day
Queen’s Soft and ijji Games’ new futuristic online FPS is called Genesis A.D (i.e., Genesis: Another Day). and it’s a free-to-play competitive PvP game that brings in quality visuals, smooth-as-butter gameplay and a handful of modes to keep gamers coming back for more. Of course, glitz and glamour isn’t enough to keep most gamers satisfied during this generation, titles like Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and KillZone 2 were proof of that. So find out if Genesis A.D. has what it takes to be a long-lasting shooter title amongst the throng of other free-to-play MMOFPS games out there in this Genesis AD review.
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As previously mentioned, there are a ton of free-to-play shooter games out there. Heck, it’s kind of hard navigating through an MMO site these days without seeing an advertisement for games like Operation 7,Alliance of Valiant Arms, Soldier Front or Mercenary Wars. With all these games out there offering intense, simulation or arcade-style shooting mechanics it makes it tough to decipher which game is worth sticking with or which game is worth passing over. A lot of times the decision making process on what to play and for how long boils down to a few choice features, usually correlated to the game’s core concepts and gameplay design.
In the case of Genesis A.D. the core concept lies in the game’s three playable classes that can be customized and modified throughout play. Other than having three very distinct play styles associated with the character classes (e.g., support offering additional ammo or energy packs, snipers being able to go invisible and assault troopers working as tanks with booster packs) it’s tough see where the game really differentiates itself from other titles out there. Purchasing items is handled like Alaplaya's S4 League or Nexon's Combat Arms, where items are rented and aren't permanent.
The gameplay itself is actually very, very similar to ijji’s other FPS, Alliance of Valiant Arms, with the weapon choices and gameplay pace being determined by how many players are playing as a specific class. Nevertheless, the game’s concept isn’t entirely bust and works well enough for what it was intended to be.
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Gameplay - Part 1
Where the concept may have fared as standard, the gameplay is anything but “standard fare". Genesis A.D. manages to bring a whole new kind of intensity to the table given that a lot of the gameplay consists of planning on how to attack opposing players. As a Supplier you can’t just run out there all gung-ho because Supplier’s weapons are mid-ranged. As a Sniper you have to stick to areas where you can afford to spend time aiming or use a very effective short-range sidearm. Assault classes can charge out into battle but have very little maneuverability when pitted against a Sniper. The balance of the gameplay is offset quite nicely with the three classes, their weapons and their available special abilities.
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Gameplay - Part 2
As of the writing of this review, the PvE modes haven’t been added to the open beta version of ijji’s Genesis A.D. but I did manage to get some hands-on time with it and I must say that it is extremely difficult to complete if you don’t know how to play a specified class very well. It’s much more challenging than the PvE-versus-PvP of Karma Operation Barbarossa, but that’s not to take anything away from Karma, it’s just to compliment the teamwork and tactical prowess required to complete the PvE modes in Genesis A.D, and that definitely extends the game’s replay values.
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I suppose while a lot of praise has been issued toward the weapons, class types and gameplay balance, the one thing that makes this all mesh into a cohesive and respectable shooter title are the maps. There are only a handful of maps in the game as of the writing of this review, however they work well enough for what they’re supposed to be achieving….balance.
Each map keeps the spawns in reasonable areas so players aren’t coming back just to get spawn wiped; the deathmatches are evenly paced and has the action spread across almost the entirety of the map no matter how big. I really liked how even in unlikely places a shootout could occur. The dynamic spawns also helps put other players in a position to help out someone who may be engaged in a nearby shootout, so there’s no worries about scouring the map to find someone to shoot at. The castle map is particularly intense given its smaller corridors and tight quarter spaces. It forces a lot of teamwork, flanking and cover fire. The CTF modes are also extremely fun and can zap hours out of the day with their Unreal Tournament designs.
Genesis A.D. is one of the few games where I’m definitely interested in seeing what kind of new maps are added to the game and how they’re done.
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The maps, character classes and design concepts have all been discussed but what about the weapons? Weapons that work and work well are fine and dandy, but weapons that go over and beyond and add something special to the game is what usually makes it undeniably memorable. In the case of Genesis A.D., unfortunately the weapons are pretty much the perfunctory designs that get the job done and that’s about it. Don’t go into the game expecting Operation 7 style customization or Borderlands-esque variety.
The weapons for each class perform the way you would expect them to, with assault rifles shooting just fast enough while shotguns provide that extra punch at close range. The only weapons that really go over and beyond into something unique are the specialty class weapons, each with their own pros and cons and a hefty in-game price tag.
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It looks like ijji does it again, pulling a rabbit out of a hat and managing to keep it free all at the same time. While Genesis A.D. is still in its infancy with its recent release, the upcoming PvE modes and the very addicting team-based features such as Capture the Flag and Demolition makes Genesis A.D. very accessible to newcomers to the MOFPS genre while at the same time affording gamers room to grow and expand with advanced tactics, equipment and items. Anyone looking for a futuristic shooter without wanting to put a lot of money into the game should definitely give Genesis A.D. a try.